“Reducing carbon reduces costs” – HM Treasury, 2013
The Infrastructure Carbon Review (2013) made this bold statement. It appears word for word in the report. However, such a bold statement should not be taken out of context and it should not be considered in isolation. Why is this...
So how is it possible to reduce costs through whole life carbon assessment? How can you save carbon and cost? This is the challenge and this is where carbon footprinting needs to be done well.
Achieving Carbon and Cost Reduction
So how does this result in carbon savings? That is the key question.
It comes down to encouraging construction to think differently. There is an incredible inertia within the construction sector. We are all too familiar with the phrase “oh, we can’t do that”, when it really translates to “that’s not how we did it last time” (and the multiple times before that…). Overcoming this inertia and the resistance to do things differently is not an easy task, especially with so many different actors in the construction sector. But this is where carbon measurement can help.
Whole Life Carbon Assessment as a Vehicle for Innovation
To help achieve the cost and carbon reductions, carbon management becomes a vehicle for innovation. Design team are experienced at targeting the usual construction tolerances and specification, e.g. capacity, function, cost…etc. However, the latter is one, cost, all too often inflates as the project progresses. How often have we seen build costs escalate as the project design develops? This is where carbon measurement can assist.
By requiring projects to hit a suitable whole life carbon target, the project may be able to meet all other specifications, but it may need to do more to reduce the whole life carbon. This requires design teams to think differently, to think outside of the box and to consider solutions that wouldn’t normally be considered. This can lead to new products, savings in installation or, importantly, to consider retaining more structure. All of these have potential to save carbon alongside cost. This is where carbon management becomes the vehicle for innovation, which can result in significant carbon and cost savings – especially when implemented effectively.
If you like this post please consider sharing it on social media using the buttons below or signing up to our newsletter.